CAPE CORAL, Fla. — On Monday, for the first time since Hurricane Ian, crews in Cape Coral were working to remove storm debris from canals.
Cape Coral's Solid Waste Manager, Terry Schweitzer, told Fox 4 the city does not expect conditions from Nicole to create any new problems during clean-up.
News of heavy rain and wind moving in from Nicole was not welcomed by Jesus Pavon, who lives off one of the many canals that were just destroyed by Hurricane Ian.
“I mean it’s not necessarily the news you want to hear,” said Pavon.
On Monday, Schweitzer said the city should have all canals cleared up by Summer.
“We expect this process to last up to six months,” said Schweitzer.
Schweitzer went on to say the city will start out with five land-based and five water-based crews (10 total) and could tack on more contracted workers as they move through the canals.
“Besides the trees, there are porta potties, garbage totes, docks, wooden structures that broke away during the storm,” said Schweitzer.
Schweitzer said when it comes to Nicole, they don't expect any additional damage and says when it comes to addressing storm drains ahead of her arrival, city works will continue to do what they have been doing.
“What we are doing right now. People calling them in, and there has been a couple of people that have called in already and either city crew or one of the debris crews will go out and remove that debris,” said Schweitzer.
We asked Schweitzer if debris drop sites could be a concern when it comes to flooding.
“We don't expect any flooding. I asked the contractors to build what we call roads within the debris sites, to build them up so to make sure we keep trucks moving and not have that flooding,” said Schweitzer.
If no additional damage goes into cape canals from Nicole, Schweitzer said there are about 200,000 cubic yards of mixed-up debris crews will have to remove.
A staggering number, but one that's easier to swallow as crews are starting to be seen.
“It's cool to see them out here and start digging all this stuff up, seems like they are on it,” said Pavon.
So far, Schweitzer says street crews have removed about 60% of debris from city streets.